Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he didn’t “expect an apology” from the FIA following the release of their report into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Michael Masi made headlines at the season finale for seemingly taking his own interpretation of the rules to provide a final lap shoot-out between Max Verstappen and Hamilton.
With the Red Bull driver on fresh softs, Mercedes were left fuming that it gave Verstappen an unfair advantage. Verstappen inevitably got past Hamilton in one of the most dramatic title-deciding moments in F1 history.
Controversy followed with the FIA announcing in January that their investigation into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was underway. It was then announced
soon after the FIA Commission meeting in London last month that Masi would no longer be race director for the upcoming season. The full findings of the FIA’s report still hadn’t been released until just hours before qualifying on Saturday.
And the sport’s governing body admitted that “human error” played a part in the outcome in Abu Dhabi. “The process of identifying lapped cars has up until now been a manual one and human error lead to the fact that not all cars were allowed to un-lap themselves,” the statement read.
The report didn’t provide an apology to Hamilton though with the result of the championship staying the same. Hamilton hasn’t had a chance to read the report having been focused on qualifying, but gave a brief rundown on what he did know.
“I haven’t seen it. I saw it had come out but I’ve not read it,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been focused on getting the job done. “I’ll read it maybe after the weekend or something like that.
I wasn’t expecting an apology. We knew that probably wasn’t going to happen, but at least there is that transparency that it’s a human error.”
Hamilton faces the unusual position of starting in fifth for the Bahrain Grand Prix and not having a car truly capable of winning a race. Mercedes have struggled to find a package to match Red Bull and Ferrari for the start of the season, putting them on the backfoot.
And the race will be on for Mercedes to bring in major upgrades before they fall too far behind their rivals.